The importance of using a grid

The importance of using a grid


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December 3rd, 2009



The importance of using a grid

by Noel Wiggins





The most important element in graphic design is the grid. No matter what kind of layout you are putting together, it has to have a grid to start with. As I was starting out as a graphic design major at SVA, this was echoed in every class, where the teacher would actually try and see the grid used in the layout, and if it was clear you didn’t use one, they would strip you naked and beat you with a ruler in-front of every in the class. (they probably didn’t say anything, but the ridicule still felt the same).


Here is a great blog discussing the principles of symmetry and balance in your layout that could be a great starting point to any new design

http://www.digital-web.com/articles/principles_of_design/


Whatever it the training method was, it has gotten through to this designer, and I rarely if ever start a project out with out one. Thanks to apple dfor includeing a helpful tool called the “art directors tool kit” I became reliant upon a really useful feature to this tool. it was a “grid” maker, you can specify the size, define the columns and rows, and can copy and paste this into your new layout. Its been a while since they have included it as a free software so I have to purchase it now, when I get a new machine, but its worth every penny. http://www.code-line.com/software/artdirectorstoolkit5/


In addition I have recently been intrigued with the idea of a grid notebook,  I don’t use these as of yet but I think I will add it to my wish list of office supplies. A lot of times its easier to design something with pen and paper than it is to work it out in the machine, so having a notebook filled with a grid is a great idea.


I like the idea of making my own grid based on the dimensions of the project I am working on, and its probably easier, cheaper, and “greener” to print out the pages as I need them. Hence this website that you can create a grid directly from the website and print a pdf, which is free with no need to buy anything!


What I like about this website is that the grid can be changed up, you can use dots, hash marks, and even thick and thin. Which could prove to be very useful to discover a unique relationship with in the layout. http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/square.html


No Matter what you use start using a grid, there is nothing more frightening, than looking at a blank page, but if you start with a grid, it won’t be blank anymore, now will it?

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 at 9:52 am and is filed under Graphic Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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About The Author



Noel Wiggins


Building and leading high performing marketing campaign that deliver results on time and within budget is both my area of expertise and my passion. For over 10 years I have developed integrated marketing strategies for online offline and all points in between. CEO’s and Marketing Managers both have recognized me for my ability to effectively shape my creative solutions to fit the needs of their demographics dramatically improving the effectiveness of their entire marketing efforts.



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